A New Income Indicator for the Assessment of Regional Competitiveness and Sustainability
The present study evaluates the economic dynamics of more than 600 local districts for two years (2001 and 2005) in Italy with the aim to propose a new income indicator for the assessment of regional competitiveness in a traditionally divided country. The spatial distribution of district value added standardized by land surface was analyzed and compared with traditional indicators of per capita and per worker district value added. The three income indicators were then correlated to 15 variables (including share of agriculture and industry on total product, labour productivity by sector, per-capita and per-worker value added) to produce a multidimensional analysis of regional development using exploratory statistics. This approach allows evaluating the complex geography of economic development in Italy and the different relationships between the three income indicators and the selected socioeconomic variables at the district scale. Results indicate that the three income indicators show a diverging spatial distribution being correlated to different socioeconomic variables. The north-south divide and other geographical gradients traditionally observed in Italy (coastal-inland, urban-rural, among others) were identified by all income indicators. The joint use of the three income indicators reviewed in this study is considered to improve monitoring of regional competitiveness dynamics in divided countries.